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Summer Tour Heads For Sydney

[Published: Monday 22 December 2008]

The Barbarians will travel to Sydney to play Australia as part of their summer tour in 2009. The club has accepted an invitation for the Australian Rugby Union to play the Wallabies at Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday 6 June.


Micky Steele-Bodger, President of the Barbarians, said: “For the Barbarian Football Club it is a great honour to be invited to Sydney to play Australia and we are delighted to take up the opportunity. Australia will be the twenty-second country in which we have played matches and the fixture in June promises to be quite an occasion.


“We have had a long-standing relationship with the Australian Rugby Union and, after hosting ten games over a period of sixty years at iconic venues like Cardiff Arms Park, the Millennium Stadium, Twickenham and, earlier this month, the new Wembley Stadium, we now look forward to going to Sydney to sample Australian hospitality and play some Barbarian-style rugby.”


The Barbarians' summer tour also includes a match against England at Twickenham on Saturday 30 May before the squad flies out to Australia. A third fixture in the United Kingdom, prior to the Twickenham date, is currently under discussion.


The club first travelled to the southern hemisphere in 1958, playing six matches in South Africa, and has also toured North and South America, Japan and Russia, Tunisia and Zimbabwe, as well as several European countries


This month's Olympic Celebration match against Australia at Wembley Stadium has quickly led to the invitation for a return fixture.


John O'Neill, the ARU's managing director and CEO., said, “The success of that match hardened our resolve to finalise discussions with the Barbarians about them coming to Australia for the first time.


“Those negotiations also ensure us a Barbarians side of real quality, one that will help deliver a new experience to Australian sporting fans, and at a ground [Sydney Football Stadium] where our national team has not played for almost a decade. We're very excited by this Barbarians venture. So too are the Barbarians.”

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